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yurbud's Journal
yurbud's Journal
February 17, 2019

GUARDIAN: Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril

The bottom line here is that it's going to be increasingly hard to say our foreign policy is pursuing human rights, democracy, or even fighting terrorism when people have access to compelling evidence we use proxies who do the same or worse abuses than those we claim we are trying to end.

The other shoe that has yet to drop on this in Congress is someone saying out loud which business interests demand and profit from our various interventions.

Actually, Trump and some of his surrogates are so ham-handed and dense that they have said some of it out loud like John Bolton lusting after Venezuela's oil.

First, on Monday, Omar criticized the influence of pro-Israel lobbyists on Capitol Hill, tweeting that Congress’s stance was “all about the Benjamins”. She was swiftly rebuked by the party leadership in tandem with Republicans, prompting her to apologize. Then, less than 48 hours later, Omar grilled America’s new envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, over his well-documented material support for multiple Central American governments that committed mass killings and genocide in the 1980s. She also questioned his credibility, noting that Abrams had pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress as part of his participation in the Iran-Contra scandal.

How did Democratic elites respond? Several pounced again – to defend the Trump administration’s backer of death squads against Omar’s pointed questioning. Kelly Magsamen, a senior official at the Center for American Progress, defended Abrams on Twitter as a “fierce advocate for human rights and democracy”. Likewise, Nicholas Burns, a 27-year diplomat who most recently advised former secretary of state John Kerry, praised Abrams as a “devoted public servant”. “It’s time to build bridges in America,” Burns wrote, “and not tear people down.”

If Democratic leaders were incredulous at Omar’s statements, rank-and-file Democrats were just as incredulous at their party leaders. Why, many asked, is it routine to criticize the influence of NRA money but almost forbidden to question the influence of Aipac money? On top of that, how could Trump’s neocon criminal be lauded as some sort of ally while Omar was treated as a pariah? A Twitter torrent caused Magsamen to delete her tweet and apologize.

Personalities aside, however, the episode is charged with significance for the Democratic party as a whole. Omar is not going away. She represents the party’s younger generation, a more diverse and progressive cohort that came of age in the war on terror. In the election of 2016, such voters balked at Hillary Clinton’s hawkish record and her courting of Never Trump neoconservatives. Now the divide is only wider and more entrenched. Democrats need to have a real conversation, immediately, about the party’s values and goals in foreign policy. Squelch it now and watch it resurge in 2020, with Trump the beneficiary.


October 25, 2018

What's going to happen when one of those packages goes off?

The right wing response is easy to guess, but I genuinely don't know what the Democratic leadership of Congress will do in response to the GOP attempt to exploit it.

October 19, 2018

Does anyone remember after election when Trump said it wasn't Reagan's party anymore, it was his?

I've tried googling it a couple of different ways and can't find it.

October 14, 2018

What ELSE is going on with Saudi that our media & gov't suddenly notice they're assholes?

I mean the Saudi government not the people who have zero say there.

Not too long ago, they could behead teenagers for mild criticism of the government, wage their genocidal war in Yemen (with our help), and finance and direct terrorists, including those that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 and no one in Washington gave a flying fuck.

Something like this murder of a journalist is usually the tip of the iceberg, a way to get the public lined up with a policy shift or even pre-war footing.

What changed behind the scenes?

October 13, 2018

Simple solutions to mitigate climate catastrophe

So the IPCC says we've got 12 years to slow the worst effects of climate change.

There's not a snowball's chance in hell Trump or any Republican will do anything about it.

But if the Democrats manage to get enough votes to at least pass legislation, what would be some straight-forward ways to reduce our greenhouse gasses?

Increase tax incentives for switching to electric cars and make free charging widely available.

All new power plants must be clean energy and renewable.

I'd say rapid deployment of mass transit like the rest of the developed world has in large cities, rail-based, that doesn't have to share the road with cars, and incentives for people to use it free fares and wifi would be a good start.

Start a campaign to get people to eat less meat (or at least less beef).

What else could we do?

October 12, 2018

Joe Lieberman To Replace Nikki Haley As UN Ambassador?

Is anyone proud that Joe was a Democrat?

A couple of Connecticut political scientists are not surprised by speculation in Washington that former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is on the White House short list to replace U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.
UConn political scientist Ron Schurin says it not unusual for a former U.S. senator to be appointed to the U.N.

“Henry Cabot Lodge was ambassador to the U.N. in the Eisenhower administration. And other political figures such as Adlai Stevenson during the Kennedy administration. President Truman had Senator Warren Austin, a Republican, as one of the American delegates to the U.N. in the early days. And that was a logical move toward cementing the bipartisan foreign policy. So there’s nothing dramatic or unusual about this.”

Sacred Heart University political scientist Gary Rose says Lieberman publicly supported Trump‘s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, so he’s not surprised that Lieberman would be considered for the U.N. job.

August 31, 2018

GRAPHICS: Trump impeachment poll numbers vs. other impeachees

After putting together the second one, I wondered again how the hell Democrats manage to lose to these corrupt stumblefucks.

Feel free to distribute these far and wide.
August 2, 2018

TOON: ICE Agent's Rookie Mistake

More at DailyKos.

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